Two buildings in New York City collapsed this morning in an explosion believed to be caused by a gas leak. Two women have been killed and at least 18 people injured, and officials said they're searching for anyone trapped in the debris. Absolutely horrific.
The blast brought down adjacent five-story structures shortly after 9 a.m. on a largely residential block at East 116th Street and Park Avenue in Upper Manhattan. The explosion, which could reportedly be heard from blocks away, shattered windows around the neighborhood. Those in the general vicinity of the collapse were terrified, wondering if it was an earthquake shaking their furniture.
But Mayor Bill de Blasio reported that preliminary information showed the explosion was indeed caused by a gas leak.
Just before the explosion, a resident in a neighboring building complained of a gas odor to Con Edison, according to officials, so there may be a connection there, which is currently being investigated. Meanwhile, brave firefighters and first responders are addressing the catastrophe.
The devastating scene is something that there are few words for. Here are some of the haunting, powerful images and videos that have been shared so far:
What thoughts or words would you want to share with those affected by and close to this tragic incident?
Images & video via lov3_t4m4l3s/Instagram; UFANYC/Twitter; giovannistellanyc/Instagram; Dineen Viggiano/Twitter; Kliina1654/Instagram